Rivers United Coach, Eguma Warns Against Complacency

CAF Confederation Cup: Rivers United Beat Rayon Sports 2-0Rivers United Technical Adviser, Stanley Eguma says he is not getting carried away by his team’s first leg win over Rayon Sports of Rwanda, in the round of 32 of the CAF Confederation Cup.

Two goals from Emeka Atuloma and Guy Kuemian, gave the Port Harcourt based side the crucial home win but despite the advantage, Eguma has warned his players not to get complacent ahead of the return leg in Rwanda.

Both sides would be meeting again on Saturday April 22 at the Amahoro Stadium in Kigali with the aggregate winner progressing to the group stage of the competition.

Indoor Sports Hall Collapses In Calabar

A major disaster which would have claimed lives and left many severely injured was averted in Calabar, the Cross River state capital, when an uncompleted multipurpose indoor sports hall at the U. J. Esuene Sports Stadium collapsed.

The incident happened at a time when the children’s competition taking place in the stadium was suspended to observe the Easter Holiday as more than 2000 children would have been crushed to death.

The structure was supposed to be one of the facilities to host the National Sports Festival by the State, which was awarded for 14 million Dollars.

Reacting on the unfortunate development, Chairman of the State’s Sports Commission, Mr Orok Duke, blamed the incident on the Contractor who besides not completing the job after being fully paid 14 million Dollars upfront, still used substandard materials.

The indoor Sport hall Chairman said, the stadium was awarded by the immediate past administration and has been under construction for over two years.

“What I have discovered is that the contractors to this project have used substandard materials and it is showing because this structure has been here for not more than three years but what we should note is that this structure was erected before the advent of Prof Ben Ayade’s government.

“And in keeping with our policy of trying to reposition sports, I had asked for permission to go after the contractor, but my principal, the governor had said he does not want to be distracted. We should cut our losses and move on because he was still focusing on hosting the National Sports Festival.

“The most frightening thing is the discovery of these substandard materials which means this was a tragedy waiting to happen.

“If it hadn’t happened now, maybe it would have happened when we had a full house with a lot of athletes.

“Being Good Friday, I can say that God just intervened because a lot of people would have been killed, especially now lots of children come to the stadium. This structure was supposed to be here for over 200 years. So we are really stunned about this development.

“The original design of the indoor sports hall had two ovals. So money was given for two ovals, but he started work on one and could not even complete it. Even at that, substandard materials were still used. It is only in Cross River that sundry contractors would walk in, cheat us and walk away without anyone going after them. It is sad for us”, Mr Duke said.

Mr Duke further called on relevant agencies to thoroughly look into the matter and act accordingly in order to serve as a deterrent.

Bale To Miss Gijon Match

Courtesy: article.wn.com

Gareth Bale has been ruled out of Real Madrid’s La Liga clash with Sporting Gijon on Saturday.

The Welshman picked up a muscular problem during Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League victory against Bayern Munich and had to be substituted.

It has now been confirmed that the 27-year-old has an issue with his right soleous muscle that could be connected to the ankle injury that was operated on in November 2016.

Supersand Eagles Coach, Ejor Impressed With Players Fitness

Head coach of the Beach Supersand Eagles, Audu Ejor, is impressed with the level of fitness of all his invited players to the team’s training camp ahead of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup set to hold in the Bahamas.

The team would play in group B, alongside Mexico, Italy and Iran.

The former African Champions, would kick start their campaign against the Italians on April 27, and would face the Mexicans on April 29, while their last group game is against Iran in May.

The team’s best outing at the competition, is a quarter-final finish at the 2011 edition in Italy.

NFF Inspects Uyo Stadium For AFCON Qualifying Matches

Federation Cup, NFFAn inspection team led by the Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation Technical and Development Committee, Barrister Chris Green, has expressed satisfaction with the current state of the playing turf of Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.

The stadium is slated to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier between Nigeria and South Africa in eight weeks time.

Green, alongside NFF Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme inspected the magnificent facility, nicknamed “Nest of Champions” which hosted the 2017 AFCON qualifier between the Super Eagles and Tanzania in September 2016, as well as the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying battle between the Eagles and the Fennecs of Algeria five months ago.

“We are delighted with the state of the playing turf and other facilities at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, I can tell you that the pitch is just as it was when the Super Eagles played Algeria in the World Cup qualifier in November 2016.

“The fact that Julius Berger has also started some work on the turf is even more re-assuring. They are adding manure, and afterwards will do cutting and rolling, and they have the benefit of the weather at this period. By the time we host South Africa on June 10, the pitch will be one of the very best anywhere in Africa”, he said.

The visit to the capital of Akwa Ibom state was to ascertain the condition of the playing pitch and indeed other facilities at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, as well as the level of commitment of the State Government to hosting the big match.

After the inspection, the team reported, “Every inch of the field is covered by grass and the grass is lush green. Julius Berger (the company that built the stadium) has commenced work on the field for the purpose of bringing it to the best standard possible.

“Every other facility is in good condition. The condition of the field, as it is now, is good enough for matches to be played on it.

“The Akwa Ibom State Government has continued to show desire and commitment to hosting the match.

“However, in order to maintain the lush green state of the pitch, the inspection team has advised that no activity be carried out on it until ongoing work is completed and the 2019 AFCON qualifier between the Eagles and the Bafana Bafana is played”.

The “Nest of Champions” will also play host to the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches between the Super Eagles and Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions on August 2017 and between the Super Eagles and the Chipolopolo of Zambia on October 2017.

NRA Urges LMC To Clamp On Hooliganism In NPFL

Courtesy: www.npfl.ng

The Nigeria Referees Association (NRA), has called on the League Management Company (LMC) to clamp on the rising tide of hooliganism.

This followed the persistent attack on some of its members officiating in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in some venues.

Three referees that handled Sunday’s NPFL game between Kano Pillars and Akwa United were manhandled by the home fans at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.

The NRA in a statement lashed out at the club’s officials for inciting the fans against its members, irrespective of the outcomes of their games.

The statement added that it would not hesitate to withdraw its members from the league if the ugly trend continues.

Eagles Coach, Rohr Hails NPFL Players

Nigeria’s national team coach, Gernot Rohr is impressed with the standard of play in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL).

Rohr was at the Agegge stadium in Lagos on Sunday to watch the match between MFM and El-Kanemi Warriors.

He observed that both teams were well organised and tactically disciplined.

Federer To Skip Clay Court Season

After wins at Indian Wells and Miami, Roger Federer says he will skip the clay court season to rest, but will probably play the French Open.

Federer who has moved up to world number four following his win, defeated Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-4 for his third title of the year.

The 35-year-old Federer becomes the tournament’s oldest men’s champion.

He also won the Hard-Court event in 2005 and 2006.

Super Eagles Coach, Rohr Confirms Onazi’s Injury

Super Eagles Coach, Rohr Confirms Ogenyi Onaz' InjurySuper Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has confirmed that Ogenyi Onazi has suffered a serious back injury on Thursday’s 1-1 draw against Senegal.

The stand in skipper was replaced by John Ogu in the first half and Rohr said afterwards that the midfielder would require a scan to ascertain the level of damage.

Rohr also suggested that Ahmed Musa could be carrying a knock after the Leicester City forward was substituted in the 75th minute.

The Super Eagles will take on Burkina Faso on Monday as they continue preparations for the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Rangers, Rivers United Get Confederation Cup Opponent

Federation Cup, enugu rangers, Rangers, Imama Amapakabo, NPFLRangers International and Rivers United, have been drawn in the last 16 of the CAF Confederation Cup.

Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champion, Rangers, were drawn against Zesco United of Zambia.

The club crashed out of the Champions League after losing to Zamalek 5-3 on aggregate.

Rivers United would face Rayon Sports of Rwanda, following their drop to the second tier having lost to Al-Merrikh 4-3 on aggregate.

The first leg would be played on April 7 and 9, while the return leg is scheduled for April 14 and 16.

Chelsea Beat Man. United At Stamford Bridge

Courtesy: http://www.manutd.com
Courtesy: http://www.manutd.com

Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, got the better part of Jose Mourinho for the second time this season, as Chelsea beat Manchester United 1- 0 at Stamford Bridge to qualify in the FA Cup semi-finals on Monday.

N’Golo Kante’s 51st minutes goal was enough for Conte’s double chasing side to break United’s resistance after the visitors had Ander Herrera sent off after 35 minutes for a second yellow card.

Mourinho’s frustration boiled over and both managers had to be separated after an angry exchange shortly after Herrera’s send off.

United, were missing the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic and injured Wayne Rooney and offered little threat once Kante had beaten David de Gea with a precise low shot.

Chelsea could have won by more, although United did have their moments and came close to an equaliser in the second half, when Marcus Rashford was foiled by keeper Thibaut Courtois.

The Blues would now face Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals at Wembley.

Maradona Arrives South Korea Ahead U-20 World Cup Draw

Courtesy: http://www.diegomaradonagroup.com
Courtesy: http://www.diegomaradonagroup.com

The football legend, Diego Maradona, has arrived South Korea, ahead of the FIFA 2017 Under-20 World Cup draw.

Maradona is scheduled to attend the draw with Argentina’s former professional football player, Pablo Aimar on Wednesday in Suwon.

The Under-20 Championship, will see 24 teams playing 52 games over three weeks in Cheonan, Daejeon, Incheon, Jeju, Jeonju and Suwon.

Maradona, the former Argentina captain has won the Under-20 World Cup in 1979 and the World Cup in 1986 for his country.